Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kentucky vs Kansas St.....A Preview

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

Kentucky vs Kansas St..
Nov.28th.Friday.11:59PM ESPNU
UK leads Series: Kentucky - 7; Kansas St - 0
Last Meeting: NIT 3/16/1976 UK-81 KSU- 78

Kansas St.
Manhattan, Kansas
Enrollment: 23,332
Arena:12,528
Coach: Frank Martin
Career Record: 21-12 (63.6%) All at Kansas St. in one season

2007-08 Record: 21-12
2007-08 Big 12: 10-6 (3rd)
2007-08 Postseason: 1-1 in NCAA

2008-09 Record

Kansas St.96 Florida A&M 57
Kansas St. 88 SE Missouri St. 68
Kansas St. 82 Emporia St. 60
Kansas St. 69 Cleveland St. 59
Kansas St. 83 Oakland 64

Stats:

PPG-83.6 Opp.-61.5
FG%-45.7%
3-Point FG%-34.7% Opp.-24.1%
FT%-61.1%
Rebounds PG-43.0 Opp -36.4
Assists PG-19.0
TO’s PG-12.8 Opp-19.6
Steals PG-9.4
Blocks PG-3.6

Probable Starting Lineup

Dominique Sutton-F.6’5” So……PPG-10.4
Darren Kent-F 6’10” Sr.-----PPG-9.8
Luis Colon-C 6’10” Jr. …..PPG-5.8
Jacob Pullen-G 6’1” So……PPG-14.8
Dennis Clemente-G 6’0” Jr……PPG-13.4

Other Key Players:

Jamar Samuels-F 6’8” Fr……PPG-11.0
Fred Brown-G 6’3” So……PPG-10.0
Ron Anderson-F 6’8” So……PPG-4.8

Kansas St. enters Las Vegas with a 5-0 record. The Wildcats return only one starter, Jacob Pullen, and lost their All-American Michael Beasley who went to the NBA as well as terrific Bill Walker. Kansas St. plays an 8 man rotation mostly and have 5 players in double figures, let by Pullen’s 14.8 scoring. Pullen has Miami transfer, Dennis Clemente, a 6’0” guard who is lighting quick and is averaging 13.4 PPG…. now joining him in the backcourt. Although a significant amount of scoring is coming from the Wildcat backcourt, they do have good balance in their scoring from the frontline as well. This Wildcat team has good size starting two 6’10” players and also getting help from two 6’8” players off the bench. Colon, the starting center is 6’10” and weighs 275 lbs., Anderson, a key sub, is 6’8” and weighs 245 lbs. Even starter Sutton , while only 6’5”, weighs 220 lbs. This Kansas St. team will be tough on the frontline and very dangerous from the backcourt. Although, the Wildcats lost Beasley and Walker, they appear to be a much more balanced and deeper team than last year. This Kansas St. team is shooting a very respectful 45.7% from the field and 34.7% from the 3 point line. Samuels, a freshman who comes off the bench, is shooting an eyepopping 64.7% and Sutton, Kent and Colon are all shooting 50% or better. The most dangerous 3 point shooters are Brown, a substitute guard, who is 10-20 for 50%....and Clemente who is 9-23 for 39%. So far the Wildcats have not been a good free throw shooting team hitting only 61%. On the other hand, Kansas St. has an average 7 rebound advantage over their 5 opponents to date and importantly, the Wildcats are averaging only 12.8 TO’s PG. This Kansas St. team will be a dangerous opponent for anyone this year.

The Kentucky Wildcats enter Las Vegas with two wins after stumbling in their opening two games. The past two games has shown some much needed improvement in defense, although the Cats are still not getting out on the 3 point shooters as they should. Offensively, it was good to see UK get the ball inside to Patterson in the last game and to see the Patterson of last year step his play up bigtime. We are seeing the potential of Liggins, Harrellson and Miller as all three players have shown glimpses of solid play, however, all three need to develop more consistency. Miller is a star in the making…..Liggins is a real talent, but he must make better decisions on the court and eliminate the bad passes…but, he is showing positive signs of improving. The Cats must have solid play from the PG position and cut way back on TO’s if they are going to have a successful season. Harrellson is showing some nice passing and scoring in close, but he must improve his defense. Galloway remains a mystery, but I don’t believe that Coach Gillispie has given up on him. Galloway has talent, but he must adopt the UK offense and defense and eliminate TO’s. Unquestionably, this UK team has talent, but they remain a work in progress. Outside shooting remains a concern because unless opponents respect the Cats ability to shoot the 3 point shot….they will collapse on Patterson and other frontline players making scoring inside very difficult. So far, Meeks has been to streaky in his 3 point shooting…part of that appears to be Meeks forcing some shots up too quickly. Meeks is a tremendous talent, but needs to share the ball a bit more and improve his shot selection.

This game against Kansas St. will be a good measuring stick as to how much progress this young UK team has made thus far. To win….the Cats must keep their TO’s below 15…..play tough defense, especially on the perameter…..take good shots from the outside and work hard to get Patterson heavily involved in the offense. A win over Kansas St. would be a terrific confidence builder….something this young UK team needs very much. Go Cats!

New list of potential football recruits?

Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Member

Brooks said on his show last night that they were getting allot of calls from "prominent" recruits that were going through coaching changes.

After the Sims decommittment I was afraid this class would finish with a whisper instead of the bang it started with. I now feel UK will finish as strongly as they started.

List of some of the recruits:

UK Football: Cats vs Vols 2008

Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Member

UK heads to Knoxville on Saturday for the last game of the Phil Fulmer era. Do the UT fans show up because they want to send Fulmer off with a bang? Or do they not show up because UT has seven losses and they already have their wish that Fulmer is gone? I think you’ll see many more UK fans in the stands than in years past.

I do think the UT players show up and play hard for their coach. Plus, the returning players will be on tape for the new regime. Anyone who looks like they quit will not help themselves with the new UT staff.

UT has a very solid defense. The same Vandy team that dominated UK at the LOS was bitch slapped by UT. Vandy was more successful when they were in the gun and throwing the ball in a 2 minute offense. UT made Nickson look bad. So, does this mean more Hartline at QB and Cobb at WR? I think Mike will get a series or two in the 1st half depending on UT’s defense. Which IMO will be 9 men with 7-8 yards of the LOS.

UT faces many of the same issues with we do at QB. Their QB looked AWFUL throwing the ball verse Vandy. But, UK has a history of making 5th string QB’s look like Heisman winners. Remember Syvelle Newton from SC who beat us a few years back. Two weeks after the UK game he went from QB to CB.

Most games are determined by TO’s and I’m not saying this one won’t, but I think this comes down to which offense can be successful on 1st down. UK did well verse UGA on 1st down and was able to move the sticks. They were not successful on 1st down verse Vandy and had a whopping 8 plays in the 1st half.

Somewhere in the back of mind I see Joker trying to come out like he did his 1st game as OC when UK went to Knoxville. Shane Boyd was a different QB and UK threw the ball all over the field. Granted Cobb/Hartline are not Boyd, but will we see that type of aggressiveness on Saturday?

If Brown does anything less than 8 in the box Brooks needs to run the defense on Saturday. Of course UK’s defense usually plays better against non-mobile QB’s. Will Jarmon give UK snaps at DE. IMO, I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t. What about Big Myron? I think he takes advantage of his last shot verse UT.

UK has been oh-so close the last 4 years verse UT. Can they actually get over the hump this year?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kentucky vs Longwood.....A Preview

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

Kentucky vs Longwood….11/24/08..
Monday at 7PM BBSN/FSN

TV/Radio/On-Line/Stream Affiliate

Longwood Lancers
Farmville, Va.
Enrollment-4,500
Arena-1,729
Coach-Mike Gillian
Career Record-34-116 (22.7%) All 5 yrs at Longwood
2007-08 Record-9-22

2008-09 Record-3-2
Longwood 87 Virginia-Wise 44
Norfolk St. 81 Longwood 74
Longwood 85 Gardner-Webb 84
West Virginia 86 Longwood 54
Longwood 61 MD-Eastern Shore 49

Probable Starting Lineup

Dana Smith-F-6’5” Jr.-----PPG-14.0
Billy Robinson-F-6.7” Jr.-----PPG-4.4
Ryan Bogan-G-6’1” Sr.-----PPG-13.4
Kevin Swecker-G-6’1” Jr-----PPG-10.2
Durann Neil-G-6’1” So-----PPG-6.4

Other Key Players

E.J. Dawson-G-6’2” Jr-----PPG-4.6
Antwan Carter-C-6’6” Fr-----PPG-5.2
Martiz Washington-G-6’0” Fr-----PPG-8.0
Jeffrey Ryan-F-6’7” So-----PPG-5.3

Longwood Stats
PPG-72.2
Rebs PG-34.4
Assists PG-14.4
TO’S PG-13.8
Steals PG-9.6
Blocks PG-4.0
FG% PG-41.8%
FT% PG-68.8%
3P%-28.9%

Longwood brings a 3-2 record into Rupp arena and are led in scoring by Dana Smith who is shooting 61% from the field and leads the team in rebounding. Ryan Bogan is the Lancers 2nd leading scorer, but is shooting only 36% from the field and only 25% from the 3 point line. The Lancers most dangerous 3 point shooters are Martiz Washington who is 9-22 in 3 point shooting and Kevin Swecker who has hit 8-19. The Lancers are a small team with no one over 6’7”, but have 7 players with 10 or more rebounds for the season….so like a lot of small teams…they rebound by committee. It is interesting to note that Longwood defeated Gardner-Webb and last night Gardner-Webb only lost to 12th ranked Oklahoma by 4 points.

Importantly, UK got it’s first win this season defeating Delaware St 71-42.on Saturday. There were signs of improvement in the Cats defense which forced 22 Delaware St. TO’s and ball handling in which UK committed a season low 12 TO’s. Individually, Meeks remains the Cats “TOP GUN” scoring 22 points and shooting very well from the field…..including 5-8 3 pointers. Darius Miller had a very solid game scoring 13 points and committing no TO’s. Miller will very likely become UK’s needed 3rd scorer along with Meeks and Patterson. Currently, Miller is a bit too unselfish passing up on open shots…..the Cats need Miller, as he gains confidence, to be more assertive offensively.

We must give some kudos to Porter, who came back from a couple of bad performances to score 8 points with no TO’s. Porter does best when the other team is not applying much pressure or playing a zone. Patterson, unfortunately had a very lackluster game….scoring only 9 points….shooting poorly in close and grabbing a poultry 4 rebounds against a much smaller team. My guess is that Patterson is still shaking some of the rust off from missing part of last season and recovering from surgery…..he should be the Patterson of old after another few games. For some reason, Perry Stevenson is not playing up to expectations and got only 12 minutes on the floor. Currently, it looks like the 8 player rotation includes Liggins, Miller and Harrellson. At some point in the near future, Liggins and Miller are likely to crack the starting lineup. All in all, the Cats showed improvement in the last game, but this team is still, very much, a work in progress and a lot of improvement is needed in all phases of the game for UK to challenge for the SEC top rung. One thing is certain, this UK team most show up for every opponent…..and play hard for 40 minutes! Hopefully, we see continued improvement in the Longwood game. Go Cats!

SEC Football Standings 11/23/08

East
Florida 7-1 10-1
Georgia 6-2 9-2
Vanderbilt 4-4 6-5
South Carolina 4-4 7-4
Kentucky 2-5 6-5
Tennessee 2-5 4-7

West
Alabama 7-0 11-0
Mississippi 4-3 7-4
LSU 3-4 7-4
Auburn 2-5 5-6
Mississippi State 2-5 4-7
Arkansas 1-6 4-7

Friday, November 21, 2008

Kentucky vs Delaware St......A Preview

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

Kentucky vs Delaware St...11/22/08..Saturday-12PM

Delaware St. Hornets
Dover, Del.
Enrollment-3,750
Arena-Memorial Hall-3,000
Coach-Greg Jackson (Career Record-295-189-60.9%)
Career Record-295-189-(60.9%)
Delaware St- Record-132-112-(54.1%)
2007-08 Record-14-16
2007-08 MEAC Record-10-6-(4th)
2008-09 Record

Delaware St. 71 Wilmington (DE) 59
Cheyney 67 Delaware St. 64
Lehigh 76 Delaware St. 58
Dayton 62 Delaware St. 42
Ohio St. 70 Delaware St. 42

Probable Starting Lineup

Frisco Sandidge-F-6’6” Jr.—PPG-9.0
Arturo Dubois-F-6’7” Sr.—PPG-9.0
Donald Johnson-G-6’4” Sr.—PPG-13.5
Fred Boule-G-6’0” Sr.—PPG-9.5
Trevor Welcher-G-5’10” So.—PPG-5.0

Marcus Neal-G-6’5” Jr.—PPG-4.8 (Sometimes Starts)

Delaware St. just lost to Ohio St. 70-42., so they will enter Rupp arena with one win and a five game losing streak. I watched the game on the Big Ten Network and Delaware St.is the complete opposite of VMI. They are not a run and shoot team…instead they play offense with much more patience. They employed some man to man as well as zone against Ohio St. and didn’t press the Buckeyes. I must say that the Buckeyes played a very aggressive 3-2 zone defense throughout the game…..it was very effective and they often trapped the Hornets out of the zone. It’s possible that Delaware St. might employ some pressing defense against the Cats knowing how poorly UK has handled pressure thus far this year. Delaware St. will often have 3 seniors and 2 juniors on the court, so they bring a lot of experience. Thus far, 6'4" G Donald Johnson has been the Hornets best offensive player.

Kentucky is coming off a rare 0-2 start this season, but the loss to #1 ranked North Carolina was not a shock. What has been a shock is the 53 TO’s that the Cats have accumulated during the first two games as well as a disappointing offense and defense. This must be corrected ASAP! I look for Liggins to get increased time at PG, even possibly starting. This is an important game for UK to show some progress both offensively and defensively. The Cats must find a way to get the ball to Patterson much more often and make better decisions in passing and shot selection. The Hornets are not a big team, so the Cats will need to exploit their height advantage in the paint and work the ball inside as often as possible for high percentage shots. On the defensive side, UK needs to start the game with a new tough hardnose defense…..I would like to see some pressing as well. Importantly, the Cats must get off to a good start…..set the tone…..take the Hornets out of the game early. UK cannot allow itself to fall way behind their opponents….any opponent….in the first half. Let’s hope we see a UK team play with confidence and enthusiasm…..and get their first win of the year! Go Cats!

UK Football: Offense in 2009?

Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Member

I have been involved in discussion on another board on what is UK's offense as we move into spring football and next fall?

During the past two seasons it has been a pro-style balanced offense. UK started this season trying to play that type of offense, but it stalled. Since Cobb took over we have seen more of the spread offense that has become so popular.

One of the big selling points to Morgan Newton and Ryan Mossokawski was that UK ran a pro-style offense. They both liked the fact that UK had a vertical passing game. Needless to say neither will be on campus when UK goes through its spring practice.

What will Brooks and Joker do this spring? Will Cobb get most of the snaps this spring or will Hartline/Fidler take the snaps knowing that one of the freshman will start next fall? This will in turn get Cobb much needed reps at WR if that is going to be his position the next 2-3 years?

If it seems that UK is going to stick with the spread and Cobb for 2-3 more years what affect does that have on recruiting?

Has what we've seen the last 3 games been a "necessity" to win games or is it a prelude to the future of UK's offense? IMO, the staff is doing what they think they have to do to win games.

Randall Cobb seems to be an extraordinary young man and the ultimate team player, but at the end of the day he will continue to struggle as a QB in the SEC as it relates to the passing game. He has thrown two bad INT's in the closing minutes of games, had numerous balls batted and IIRC his stats verse Vandy he completed <50% of his passes.

(This is not intended to bash Cobb/Hartline/Fidler/Brooks/Joker, but to get opinions on how UK's offense moves forward after this season.)

UK Football: Recruiting

Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Member

Adams, Brian ** 6-4/210
Aumiller, Jordan ** 6-4/200
Beam, Justin ** 6-2/180
Coble, Mister *** 6-0/270
Huzzie, Qua *** 511/200
Johnson, Tristin *** 6-3/220
Kendrick, Anthony *** 6-4/220
King, LaRod *** 6-6/190
Merritt, Demetri 6-4/210
Mitchell, Kevin *** 6-7/325
Mossakowski, Ryan **** 6-4/200
Newton, Morgan *** 6-4/205
Rumph, Donte *** 6-3/260
Simpson,Sam *** 6-5/260
Sims, David *** 6-0/205
Walker, Jarvis *** 6-2/200
Walker, Myron *** 6-3/275
Warford, Larry *** 6-4/320
Wilson, Ridge *** 6-4/210

At this point UK is sitting on a solid class. Does Simms stay solid with commitment? Does Rumph get eligible? The two glaring needs are one more RB, (2 if Simms jumps) and corners. UK has 19 commitments. If memory serves 21 kids went through Senior day last weekend verse Vandy. I would look for UK to sign 25.

Who is left?

  • RB: Duece Finch is still out there. But for some reason I think he moves on. Roderick McDowell a Clemson commit has been talking with UK but in the end IMO it is Clemson or SC. The interesting player is Toney Williams who is a UT commitment. I would really like for him to jump on board.
  • WR: A new that has surfaced is BrYce McNeal. It seems Mr. Newton might have helped getting him interested in the Big Blue.
  • DL: Pernell McPhee was in a few weeks back and is a very impressive looking guy. In the end it seems he is solid with his verbal to Miss St. Clinton Simpkins from Virginia is trying to schedule a trip to UK. Roy Philon from Bryant Station might be looking at the Cats as well.
  • CB: Two names on the board might be Pat Miller, AL and Earl McCann out of Bryan Station.
As usual UK will sign 1-2 players that we have not heard about.

UK Baseball signs seven

The University of Kentucky baseball program has signed seven players for the 2010 class. The class is highlighted with two prospects from Kentucky and one the best pitchers from Tennessee according to UK baseball Coach Gary Henderson. For Coach Henderson's comments and info on the signees click here.

  • Jon Carlson, LHP, 6-5, 200 (Rolling Meadows, Ill., Rolling Meadows High School)
  • Jordan Cooper, RHP, 6-3, 190 (Shelbyville, Tenn., Shelbyville Central High School)
  • Joe Devine, RHP, 6-2, 180 (Mount Carmel, Ill., Wabash Valley College)
  • Sam Kidd, RHP/OF, 6-2, 170 (Hartford, Ky., Ohio County High School)
  • Luke Maile, C, 6-3, 200 (Crestview Hills, Ky., Covington Catholic High School)
  • Taylor Rogers, LHP, 6-3, 170 (Littleton, Colo., Chatfield Senior High School)
  • Walter Wijas, RHP, 6-3, 200 (Elk Grove Village, Ill., James Conant High School)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Let's All Take A Deep Breath!

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

I have read the many passionate posts by many UK fans expressing their huge disappointment in UK's play and questioning Gillispie coaching.....a few suggesting that UK needs a new coach. I understand the disappointment by UK's legion of great fans and I share that disappointment.

But, I suggest we all take a deep breath, me included, and step back and look at this team objectively.

These are the facts:

UK lost 50% of their scoring in Bradley and Crawford...plus their leadership.

UK lost their experienced PG, when Jasper left for UNLV.

This years team consists of Patterson, Harris, Porter and Stevenson who have essentially one year of significant game experience under Gilllispie. Stewart, Carter and Meeks played little last year. Liggins, Miller, Harrellson, Galloway and Williams are playing their first year at UK. Bottom line....this is a very young and inexperienced UK team.

Unfortunately, UK is without an experienced PG. Porter is a great kid, works hard, but simply lacks the talent and quickness to be an effective PG. However, Porter can still play an important role as a backup. It is Liggins, despite his youth, that must get the bulk of playing time and gain the necessary experience at PG. A priority for Liggins is to start making better decisions with the ball and cut way back on TO'S.....but, importantly, Liggins has talent and potential to be a first rate PG.

Currently, the only outside scoring threat is Meeks who appears to be trying to carry the team on his back by shooting far too much. Meeks, is immensely talented, but he must take better shots and look for Patterson more.

Someone has to step up and become a third consistent scorer.....Miller, a definite talent, has the potential to fill that role, but he is still a very inexperience player learning the system.

Also, unfortunately, at this point, this UK team is a terrible ball handling team making excessive TO's. Better decision making by Meeks and Liggins will help a lot.

Patterson is not getting the ball nearly enough for two reasons......a lack of consistent outside scoring allows defenders to drop back and collapse on him making a pass very difficult. Secondly, at this point, Liggins, Porter and Meeks have done a poor job passing to Patterson when there is an opportunity and too often they have forgot about Patterson for long stretches of the game. This must be corrected.

Unquestionably, UK's defensive intensity and effectiveness must improve.

This is Billy Gillispie's 2nd year as head coach and like all UK fans I have been disappointed with the defensive effort, the sloppy play resulting in a ton of TO's and particularly the opening loss to VMI at Rupp Arena. As disappointed as all of us are thus far with this years team.....we must remember the losses from last year, the youth and inexperience of this current UK team and the fact that last season, despite the ugly start.....Gillispie showed his coaching ability by righting the ship and finishing 12-4 in the SEC while garnering an NCAA bid. Believe me, Billy hasn't forgot how to coach....he proved that before coming to UK and he proved that last year. Billy Gillispie works 24/7.....he is even more upset with this teams performance than UK fans......and I believe he will get this team back on track. This UK team has talent and once these guys gain experience, master the system and develop leadership, UK can still end up with a solid year.

There are some difficult games ahead and like all UK fans I will be looking for improvement....significant improvement as the season goes along. But, this is no time to lose faith in our coach......he wants to win in the worst way.....he has signed some tremendously talented players that will be coming to UK. Let's stand behind coach Gillispie.....let's recognize that he and this young team need time to develop. I think in the 2nd half of the North Carolina game, UK fans saw much better play from the Cats....a glimpse of their potential......and that was against a very talented Tarheel team on their home court.

I respect all the fans opinions....I understand everyone's frustration and disappointment, but it's only mid November....the season is just starting. Let's give the Cats and coach Gillispie our full support. GO CATS!

UK vs UNC Postgame Headlines

UK vs. UNC

Overall Wins: Kentucky - 10; North Carolina - 21 | Official Wins: Kentucky - 10; North Carolina - 21
For more in-depth historical information on this series, please also see the rivalry text

SEC Football Standings-11/19/08

East
Florida 7-1 9-1
Georgia 6-2 9-2
Vanderbilt 4-3 6-4
South Carolina 4-4 7-4
Kentucky 2-5 6-5
Tennessee 1-5 3-7

West
Alabama 7-0 11-0
LSU 3-3 7-3
Mississippi 3-3 6-4
Auburn 2-5 5-6
Arkansas 1-5 4-6
Mississippi State 1-5 3-7

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kentucky vs North Carolina…..A Preview….

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

Kentucky vs North Carolina
11/18/08 Tuesday at 9PM (ESPN)

North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC
Enrollment-27,700
Arena-Dean Smith-27,700
Coach-Roy Williams
Career-560-134 (.801) North Carolina-142-33-5 years (.811)
NCAA Titles-4
Final Fours-17
2007-08 Record-36-3
ACC-14-2
Currently Ranked #1 in nation

2008-09 (1-0)
North Carolina 86 Penn 71

Probable Starting Lineup

Deon Thompson…. F-6’8” Jr…..Penn game-17 points..(Last season PPG-8.4)
Danny Green…..F-6’6” Sr…..Penn game-12 points..(Last season PPG-11.5)
Tyler Hansbrough….C-6’9” Sr…..Penn game-Did Not Play…(Last season PPG-22.6)
Wayne Ellington…G-6’4” Jr…..Penn Game-13 points..(Last season PPG-16.6)
Ty Lawson….G-5’11” Jr…..Penn game-12 points..(Last season PPG-12.7)

Other Key Players

Tyler Zeller….C-7’0” Fr…..Penn game-18 points
Ed Davis….F-6’10” Fr…..Penn game-10 points
Marcus Ginyard….G/F-6’5” Sr…..Did Not Play..(Last season PPG-6.9)
Bobby Frasor….G-6’3” Sr…..Penn Game-3 points..(Last seasons PPG-3.2)

North Carolina is currently ranked number one in the nation and rightly so. The Tarheels return all five starters plus their top two reserves and have added a number of very talented freshmen. In short, this North Carolina team is loaded with great talent and experience. Last season they made it to the Final Four before a great Kansas team defeated them…this season the Tarheels have their sights not just on a return to the Final Four, but a 5th NCAA championship. Currently, Tyler Hansbrough, First Team All-American, is recovering from shin problems and did not play in the Penn game. His availability for the UK game is not clear at this date. Not to worry, Tyler Zeller, a heavily recruited freshman, replaced Hansbrough in the Penn game and was the high scorer. The Tarheel frontline will be potent this season with Hansbrough, Thompson, Davis and Zeller. Ginyard, who is injured, has been the Tarheels best defender.The backcourt has perhaps the fastest guard in America in Ty Lawson who is an outstanding PG. and Ellington is a terrific guard. Importantly, North Carolina and Kentucky are the two top programs in wins…..they are the greatest two college programs in America….and anytime these two giants collide….it’s big news in college basketball. In this game, it’s the Tarheels who are currently #1 while the Cats are are in the process of climbing back up to a top 10 team.

Unfortunately, UK’s opening game against VMI was an embarrassment as the Cats lost 111-103. Coach Gillispie was obviously very disappointed in the Cat’s performance which demonstrated poor defense, an abundance of TO’s and poor decisions coupled with a lack of intensity, softness and no leadership. Coach Gillispie took much of the blame on himself as he should. While losing to an inferior opponent in VMI is no way to start the season, UK fans must remember that this was just one game and the season is just getting started. UK must get improved play at PG and it appears that Liggins, despite his inexperience, can provide superior defense and offense than Porter. Meeks clearly demonstrated that he is going to have a great season….playing with great heart all over the court and carrying the Cats offensively. Darius Miller revealed himself to be a coming star….reminds me of a bigger version of the great ‘Goose Givens”. Patterson appeared to be shaking the rust off from last seasons injury, but look for rapid improvement as he gets back into recapturing his great play from last season. Patterson will be vital to UK’s success this season. Perry Stevenson continues to improve and should help make UK’s frontline vastly improved from last season.

There is no question that UK will be a solid underdog to #1 ranked North Carolina on their home floor, but never count UK out in any game. The talent is there….but, UK must vastly improve their defense and ball handling. This UK team is a work in progress and I’m sure that Coach Gillispie and the team are working hard to correct the many flaws and poor play of the VMI game. I look for some possible lineup changes and a UK team that shows significant improvement over the VMI game. Go Cats!

My thoughts on the 2008-09 mens basketball team...

Dustaroo
Senior Board Moderator

We lost to VMI, and it sucks.

While I am upset about this loss, I am not upset it was to VMI. This is going to be a polar opposite post as the GWII posts. VMI averages over 100 PPG, which is the highest scoring team in the nation(two years running). That is a claim to fame, what did GW have? I have seen VMI make headlines the past two years with the ridiculous points they have amassed in games. When their shooting isn't on they lose(Duke anybody?). I had never heard of GW until last season. I don't think it is completely reasonable to compare the two losses.

I remember when the schedule was released for the first time there was discussion about VMI on there. Now, I could be mistaken, but I believe it was Lwcat who expressed concern over this game. The concern, IMO even before the game was well placed. I myself looked at that game and thought, if we don't show up we could be in real trouble. We made headlines in the sports world, but we make headlines every time we lose, no matter who it is to. Now the headline on ESPN stating, "Once mighty Kentucky loses to VMI," is a headline we don't see many like.

I really believe this team(including coach) will make us very happy this season. I don't agree with everything coach does, ala playing time concerning Porter, Galloway and Harrellson. I don't agree that he showed no emotion on the sideline as was the case last season. He was chewing guy's out like none other. The commentators even mentioned how hard Porter was getting chewed by coach.

While the game was mostly bad play there are positives to take from it. First off is Miller and Liggins. Liggins isn't where we need him to be yet, but he is in great shape for a frosh. He had 7 turnovers, but coach can and will fix that. Second is Miller. I was thinking I wouldn't see Miller until next season. I was wrong and couldn't be happier about it. I have done a 180 and think he is a major key to this teams success and needs to be a starter.

Another positive stemming from a negative is concerning Patterson. We broke 100 and Patterson didn't get into double digits. This team, while they haven't proven themselves against a very tough defense they have at least done something we haven't seen in years and it is flat out score. We have been upset with slow paced ball for some time now. If our style switches to little defense and we are in a shootout every week instead of grinding, I am ok with it. Few teams have the shooting ability that VMI possesses so I'd like our chances.

I think we will steal one on the road in Chapel Hill, and I very well may be wrong but if I am I don't think I'm off by much. This team will not be blown out this season. I don't think BCG lost the game on purpose, but I do think he scheduled VMI to do EXACTLY what they did. They exposed the need to play defense, or the team will get walked on.

This team, after the exhibitions needed to be brought back down to earth. Hopefully they have woken up and from this point forward we will be singing their praises again. Our future is certainly bright indeed!

UK vs Vandy Thoughts

Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Member

What an awful football by UK last night. I am amazed that a team comes out of the locker room so flat, EVERY GAME.

You can not continue to spot SEC football teams 14 points. As we've seen the last two games UK can not come back from that type of hole. I've never seen a college football team be so inept in the 1st half.

I don't remember the exact stats, but Vandy was ~ 8 of 15/16 on 3rd down conversion. Inexcusable for UK to let them convert 50% on 3rd down.

UK's tackling is atrocius. Somebody needs to get Matt Lentz and tell him putting shoulder into a SEC RB will not bring him down. Wrapping your arms is a fundamental approach.

Of course, the few times the defense did make a stop on 3rd down we had some freshman mistakes and roughed the punter. One I understand. Two is uncalled for and three (nullified to off setting penalties) is just sorry coaching.

Randall Cobb is the best option we have at QB this season. He plays hard, but guys he is not the QB of the future. He missed many throws that should have been made. He missed a WIDE OPEN Roark in then end zone by a mile. Not too mention he over threw alot of WR's last night. He is too small to throw from the pocket. UK converted 3 or 5 3rd downs?

How many carries to Smith have last night? One? Is the one homerun threat UK has left and he might have one run and I know of one catch. Two flippin' touches? Give me a break. I guess the same guy charts his touches that neglected to inform Gillispie Patterson had two shots out of a set offense.

I hope UK can hold onto the two QB's we have coming in, because the offense they were recruited to play in is not what UK is running. As of today I'm wondering if UK will be able to salvage their recruiting class on both sides of the ball?

Let me also ask this question?

If Hartline was 11-26 with 2 INTS how bad would all the UK internet sites be today? I'd bet it would be very ugly.

UK vs Vandy Postgame Headlines

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Inexcusable Loss!

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

I can't remember when I have seen a UK team this unprepared to play a game. Billy Gillispie and the UK team knew that VMI was a 3 point shooting team and yet defending the 3 point shot was virtually non-existant.....and even open crip shots occurred too often. Ball handling and decision making were terrible.....25 TO's.

Porter had 5 TO's and Liggins 7 TO's......this is unacceptable from the PG position.

VMI was a 14-15 team last year that lost their best player in Reggie Williams and yet they came into Rupp arena and put up 111 points.

I support Coach Gillispie 100%, but he must take responsibility for this loss.....this team looked like they hadn't practiced at all.

This loss hurts.....it's beyond disappointing and it's inexcusable!

Thank goodness for Meeks, who played a fantastic game.....he laid his heart on the floor. I thought Miller looked very good for a freshman.....this kid is going to be special. I have no idea what happened to Patterson.....he didn't score until the 2nd half and only had 8 points.

The season just started and it's just one bad loss at home, but this UK team needs a ton of work or more bad losses will follow.

Friday, November 14, 2008

VMI/UK & VANDY/UK Gameday Chat Room

The chat room will be open for those who want to join in during the VMI vs Kentucky basketball game at 7:00 pm Friday on the BigBlueNetwork. The game can also be seen through the University of Kentucky athletic Web site at: UKathletics.com. Also here's another LINK FOR THE GAME STREAM(Just look about half way down the page, and you'll see the game). Also join us for the Vanderbilt (5-4) vs Kentucky (6-4) football game at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 14 on ESPN2 with Mark Jones, play-by-play; Bob Davie, color analyst . Click here to enter Wildcats Thunder's chat room and remember we'll have the chat room open for every UK Basketball and Football game. We look forwarded to seeing you there. Also you might want to bookmark the chat room as we'll be using it also during the basketball season.

VMI/UK TV & Internet Coverage Info

[image] at [image]

VMI vs Kentucky
Friday Nov. 14, 2008 @ 7:00 p.m.


TV Stations

  • Bowling Green WBKO-TV 6pm (Live)
  • Evansville WTVW-TV 6pm (Live)
  • Hazard WYMT-TV 7pm (Live)
  • Huntington, WV WSAZ-My Z 7pm (Live)
  • Hopkinsville WKAG-TV 6pm (Live)
  • Lexington WKYT-TV 7pm (Live)
  • Louisville WMYO-TV 7pm (Live)
  • Paducah, KY/Cape Girardeau, MO WDKA-TV 6pm (Live)
Cable Systems
  • FSN-South - 7pm or 6pm (Live)
  • Footprint will be KY, TN, Huntsville DMA of AL, Columbus/Tupelo and Greenwood/Greenville DMAs of MS.
  • Game will also be available on ESPN Full Court
Internet Feeds

Thursday, November 13, 2008

UK signs Hood-Orton-Vilarino



Coach Gillispie had the following comments on Hood, Orton and Vilarino:
On the official signing of Jon Hood, Daniel Orton and GJ Vilarino...
"I'm really excited about all three of the players that we signed today. They will all be terrific players for us and we are very fortunate to have them. Our roster will get better with these three signees. All three of them are great human beings. They are all excited and all three of them love Kentucky."

On GJ Vilarino...
"GJ Vilarino is the first one who committed to us and he is one of the fastest players in the country. Currently, that is something that we lack. He continues to get better and he is an extremely hard worker. Vilarino is a gym rat, and we need more of those. He starts about 6:30 A.M., and he is often either lifting weights or getting individual instruction. He is becoming a vocal leader and I like the way he is beginning to mature. Vilarino has been a good player for a long time and he continues to get better. I'm very excited about him and I appreciate that he made his commitment very shortly after I got here."

On Jon Hood...
"Jon Hood is the second player who committed and I think he will be a tremendous player. In the last year he has improved as much as anyone. He is also a gym rat. After going to Big Blue Madness, Vilarino and Hood were in the gym working and shooting. They did the same thing the next night. He is a very good athlete and he continues on the path of the other players we have been recruiting. Hood is long and athletic, and he has gained weight. I don't care if he gains any more weight because he will continue to get stronger. He can shoot the ball and he has the ability to make baskets. Some players can shoot the ball, but they can't make the play to get a basket. Some players can make baskets, but they aren't great shooters. He will be a combination of those things, and he will be able to score in a variety of ways. Hood will eventually have the ability to initiate offense. He has great leadership ability and he has a great love for the University of Kentucky. We are awfully happy to have him. I like his toughness, but I love his confidence. He wants to see how he measures up with the rest of the team and find areas he needs to improve. He is determined and he comes from a great basketball family. His mother played in the Final Four and his father played at the collegiate level."

On Daniel Orton...
"Daniel Orton was the third player to commit here. We are extremely happy to have him, and of our recruits, he has the most national recognition. He is an unbelievable prospect at a difficult position to recruit. His IQ is off the charts, he understands how to play and he already has an NBA body. He has agility, speed and unbelievable hands. Orton sees what other players at his position can't. Not many players can pass and read defense like he can. This is all projection, but I think he will be a fantastic player as well. I'm not worried about his knee injury. I wish he hadn't gotten hurt, but those things happen. It is very unfortunate for him and his high school team. It definitely hurts when you lose a player of that magnitude. He will rehab exactly as he should and he'll get back to full health."

UK Hoops sign four in early

UK women's basketball Coach Mitchell signed four outstanding players in the fall signing period in Anna Cole , a 6-6 center from Mondovi High School in Mondovi, Wisc., Brittany Henderson , a 6-2 forward of John Muir High School in St. Altadena, Calif., Adia Mathies ( pronounced ODD-e-uh MATH-is) , a 5-9 guard of Iroquios High School in Louisville, Ky., and Porsha Postell ( pronounced post-ELL) , a 5-10 guard from Woodlands High School in White Plains, N.Y., have signed to play for the Wildcats next season.

Coach Mitchell had the following comments on the four recruits that signed with UK.
"These four young ladies represent the kind of people we want to bring into the program," Mitchell said in a release. "Not only do they have a lot of talent as basketball players but they have a great deal of passion for the University of Kentucky and pride to want to wear the Blue and White."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2008 SEC Football Championship game set


The 2008 SEC Football Championship Game is set with Alabama(Western Division champion) to play Florida(Eastern Division champion) on Dec. 6 in the Georgia Dome for the SEC title. Kickoff time is set for 4 p.m. ET on CBS. For more info visit
SEC Football Championship Game page.

SEC Football Week 12 Match-ups

[image] [image]
GEORGIA at AUBURN

12:30 p.m. ET
Auburn, Ala.
Jordan-Hare Stadium (87,451)
LIVE TV: Raycom [Dave Neal, play-by-play; Dave Archer, color analyst; Dave Baker, sideline reporter]
Live Streaming Video!

[image] [image]
LOUISIANA-MONROE at OLE MISS

1 p.m. CT
Oxford, Miss.
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (60,580)
LIVE TV: None

[image] [image]
SOUTH CAROLINA at FLORIDA

3:30 p.m. ET
Gainesville, Fla.
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field (88,548)
LIVE TV: CBS Sports [Vern Lundquist, play-by-play; Gary Danielson, color analyst; Tracy Wolfson, sidelines]
Live Streaming Video!

[image] [image]
MISSISSIPPI STATE at ALABAMA

6:45 p.m. CT
Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Bryant-Denny Stadium (92,138)
LIVE TV: ESPN [Mike Patrick, play-by-play; Todd Blackledge, color analyst; Holly Rowe, sidelines]
Live Streaming Video on ESPN360.com

[image] [image]
TROY at LSU

7 p.m. CT
Baton Rouge, La.
Tiger Stadium (92,400)
LIVE TV: PPV

[image] [image]
VANDERBILT at KENTUCKY
8 p.m. ET
Lexington, Ky.
Commonwealth Stadium (67,606)
LIVE TV: ESPN2 [Mark Jones, play-by-play; Bob Davie, color analyst]
Live Streaming Video on ESPN360.com

For more info on these games click here

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kentucky vs VMI.. A Preview

Lwcat
Wildcats Thunder Administrator

Kentucky vs VMI
(Nov. 14th, Friday, at 7pm)
Big Blue Sports/FSN South

VMI Keydets
Lexington, Virgina
Enrollment-1,300
Arena-5,300
Big South Conference
2007-2008 Record-14-15
2007-2008 Big South Record-6-8
Coach-Duggar Baucom
Career Record-72-73 (at VMI-35-54 in 3 Seasons)

Projected Starting Lineup

Adam Lonon..5’11” JR-G….PPG-4.2
Austin Kenon..5’11” JR-G…PPG-12.3
Travis Holmes..6’4” SR-F…PPG-15.6
Chavis Holmes..6’4” SR-F…PPG-18.3
Willie Bell..6’8” SR-C……..PPG-8.2

Other Key Players

Hunter Houston..6’6” Soph-F..PPG-3.1
Quinn Brownfield..6’7” Soph-F..PPG-2.6
Carl Josey..6’5” JR-G……..PPG-1.6

VMI Full Roster
Virginia Military Team Report


VMI returns 4 starters, but they lost their top scorer and rebounder in Reggie Williams who averaged an amazing 27.8 PPG and set scoring records. Importantly, however, VMI returns 60% of their scoring with their returning players. The Keydets led the nation in scoring averaging an incredible 91.3 points per game, but, unfortunately they gave up an average of 87.2 points per game to their opponents which indicates a weak defense. Obviously, VMI prefers a very fast uptempo pace and launched an incredible 1,045 3-point shots making 32.2%....actually one half of VMI’s shots from the field last season were 3 pointers! The two top returning scorers are the Holmes twins with Chavis, the better scorer, who took an amazing 228 3-point shots hitting 36%..... and Travis the better rebounder, but both are solid players who bring senior leadership and experience to this high flying VMI team. One interesting new addition to the VMI roster this season is Michael Sparks, a 6’4” FR. who is from Lexington and played at Tates Creek.

This is the opening game for UK and brings with it great expectations as Billy Gillispie enters his 2nd year as UK coach. The Cats suffered some key loses in losing Bradley, Crawford and Jasper, but the addition of new key recruits plus a healthy UK team bodes well for optimisim for these Cats. The Cats return a healthy Patterson and Meeks, both outstanding players. In addition, Perry Stevenson , Ramon Harris and Michael Porter return with added experience and will likely get the early season starting nod. All five players are well familiar with BCG’s system, all appear to have improved and importantly, all are healthy. Importantly, this new edition of UK has added and improved overall team talent, athleticism and depth. Unquestionably, Harrellson, Miller, Liggins, Stewart and Galloway will be challenging for more playing time and perhaps grabbing a starting role as this season progresses. This UK team should be much stronger in the front court and not as dependent on outside scoring as in recent years. Still, it will be important for some players to step forward and give the Cats a consistent outside scoring presence beside Meeks.

Look for this UK team to much improved defensively and far better in applying pressure and scoring off their defense. Also, as Coach Gillispie has stated, this UK team is in much better physical condition than last years team. We know that Patterson and Meeks are outstanding scorers…..time will tell which other players can step forward and be productive in scoring. As always, it will be great defense that gets a lot of players minutes on the floor. This UK team might struggle some in the early part of the season, but as the season progresses look for a vastly improved UK team that will be a very dangerous opponent for any team. Certainly, BCG and the Cats are aware of last years embarrassing loss to Gardner-Webb, also from the Big South Conference, and I feel confident that this years team will not let that kind of a loss happen again!

Let the season begin…..GO CATS!

Vandy vs UK Football Game Info

VS
VANDERBILT at KENTUCKY
When: 8 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 15
Where: Commonwealth Stadium; Lexington, Ky.
TV: espn2; Radio: BBSN
Series: UK leads 39-37-4 (UK has won 10 of past 12)
Last Meeting: Nov. 10, 2007 - UK 27, @Vandy 20
Records: Vanderbilt (5-4, 3-3); UK (6-4, 2-4)

AP/USA Top 25 Football Poll

1.Alabama (44)
2.Texas Tech (21)
3.Florida
4.Texas
5.Oklahoma
6.USC
7.Penn St.
8.Utah
9.Boise St.
10.Ohio St.
AP/USA Top 25 Polls-Link